According to a CIPS report, the UK corporate workwear market saw growth of 90 per cent in the 10 years to 1998, reaching a value of £410million.
The years since have seen a slowdown in growth as market demand has matured, reaching £425m in 2002 and estimated to reach £446m in 2007. At current levels, the market represents approximately 4% of all clothing purchased in the UK. Expressed in terms of unit volumes, the UK market represented an estimated 33.4m items of clothing in 2007.
It is estimated that in the region of 90% of the UK’s corporate workwear is imported, with South Asia and China being the most popular sourcing destinations.
It is estimated that over half the UK workforce wears some form of corporate or company provided working clothing and for some companies the annual bill is very large indeed - £4-5 million a year for the 48,000 staff of British Airways, for example.